The masking features in Final Cut Pro X have been significantly improved in the 10.2 update released last week.
In today’s Final Cut Pro Under 5, Steve Martin from Ripple Training demonstrates one way to use the new Draw Mask effect: creating an alpha transition.
An alpha transtion involves a transition between two clips by having an object move across the screen, hiding the outgoing clip and revealing the incoming clip. The object needs to have a transparent background, so must be rendered with a codec that supports an alpha channel, such as ProRes 4444.
If you are familiar with Motion, you’ll feel right at home with this technique because these masking features have been available in Motion for years. I love that you can now draw masks with control points in Final Cut using the same process. Just add the Draw Mask effect to a clip, choose the type you want to use, and click to create control points to make a mask of any shape.
Once you’ve created a mask, you can animate it by setting keyframes, again much as you would do in Motion: set the first keyframe manually, and then every change you make to the mask automatically sets additional keyframes, animating the mask. Not only can you move control points (individually or groups of points by selected them first), you can also transform the entire mask by changing its position, scale, and rotation.
Employing this technique to mask a moving object can take a fair amount of tweaking the mask, checking every frame, but it’s quick to do with a short transition, and the results speak for themselves. There is much more to the new masking features in Final Cut Pro X, and many other new features to learn about. For a free overview of other key features of this release, check out this video here.